discomfort zone

BossFeed Briefing for September 17, 2018. Last Tuesday, the Puyallup City Council voted to restrict services for homeless people to a narrow sliver of the city. Last Wednesday, multi-millionaire JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said he could beat Donald Trump in an election because he’s “smarter” and he “actually earned his money”. Yesterday, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a formal peace accord. Today, the Seattle City Council will vote on a companion to the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which will ensure that anti-harassment and anti-discrimination protections apply to nannies, house cleaners, and other domestic workers. And Wednesday is the 125th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to grant full voting rights to women.


Three things to know this week:


McDonald’s workers in 10 cities will strike tomorrow over sexual harassment, in what is believed to be only the second-ever strike in US history called specifically over this issue. The first was a 1912 walkout by workers at a corset factory in Indiana.


In response to criticism of the $50,000 in public money spent to install automatic curtains at the government-owned residence of Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, a former top official explained that “all she’s got is a part-time maid.” The budget of the State Department has been cut by 31%.

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A very small universal basic income experiment is being launched in Jackson, Mississippi later this year, providing regular cash payments to fifteen people to measure how their lives change when they have a reliable source of unconditional income. A similar, larger experiment is expected to begin soon in Stockton, California. 


Two things to ask:


Which one would you prefer? We were at a federal Department of Labor “listening session” on overtime protections last week, where we heard some business lawyer types insist that people who work long hours for low salaries don't actually want more money OR more time. What workers really want, they said, is the "prestige" of being called salaried


Did your boss notice? September 14th was “4pm finish” day — a day when everyone who works in an office is supposed to leave an hour early… because they’re so caffeinated-up that they're extra-productive the rest of the day. The holiday was declared by Red Bull's UK branch.


And one thing that's worth a closer look:


When Zachariah Vargas smashed his hand in a door delivering packages for Amazon, his supervisor tried to insist he deliver all his remaining packages before seeking medical attention, because “Amazon is watching you.” That’s just one of the jarring stories in this Business Insider piece exploring what it's like to work for one of the third-party delivery companies that bring Amazon packages to customers’ doors. In what is perhaps the largest such piece of reportage to date, Business Insider talked to 31 different drivers working for 14 different third-party delivery companies, and found similar accounts of intense time pressure, unpaid overtime, pee bottles, and other grievances. We should perhaps expect more of the same, as Amazon has been working intensively to build up their third-party delivery network, including offering loans to people purchase vans, while maintaining control of technical logistics responsibilities like routes and timing.


Read this far?


Consider yourself briefed, boss.

Let us know what you think about this week's look at the world of work, wages, and inequality!

Let us know what you think about this week's look at the world of work, wages, and inequality!